Put yourself in uncomfortable situations.
Take on greater challenges. Lead when all you want to do is follow. These are the ways you will grow.
Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) — 2013
Connect Magazine's 40 Under 40 — 2013
PCMA's Twenty in Their 20s — 2018
Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Honoree — 2019
Digital Event Strategist (DES) - 2020
Pandemic Compliance Advisor Certified - 2021
I was one of those kids who knew exactly what I wanted to do by high school. Growing up, I'd heard my aunt tell stories about all of the trips she was taking for work and the people she was meeting. Little did I know at the time how closely I'd follow in her footsteps. Thanks to her, I graduated from James Madison University with a B.B.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2011.
Having taken an internship in Washington D.C. before my senior year, I moved back to D.C. following graduation and began my career in the association side of the industry. Association meeting and conference planning led me to a change in scenery and a move to Chicago! I followed one of my first career goals and began to work for Professional Convention Management Association.
The move to Chicago catapulted me into new opportunities and challenges. Working for PCMA taught me how to challenge the status quo when it came to meeting and convention planning. Think outside the box; never use the phrase "this is what we did last year". That was what my boss instilled in me.
Short break in the story: While I was working full time, I also started Stonewall Sports - Chicago, a non-profit sports league that donates all of its funds raised to help support LGBT charities. Ask me about it sometime!
PCMA may have been one of my first career goals, but there are many! Two years into my move to Chicago, I was recruited to an experiential brand agency in the city. It was here that I really spread my wings into greater challenges in becoming a leader. My opportunities became more varied and learning became a part of my Modus Operandi as our clients asked us to do the impossible. I'd like to think my time there not only provided me experience in the wide range of event production but also in people, managing a wide variety of clients as well as coworkers.
But this leads me to now! Now, I'm here to be YOUR event professional. Bringing nearly 15 years of event management and production experience to your next project. With experience in virtual events, association meetings, networking events, outdoor events, general sessions, breakouts, registration, housing, attendee management, trade shows, food and beverage, team building, incentive programs, and much more. And if that's not enough... I'm an avid Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and Star Wars fan... so ask me about those!
Patrick Crosson, CMP, DES
Chief Experience Owner